The Blok: When did you open your shop?
Cherie Lunau Jokish: Beadle opened its doors on October 14, 2006
■ : Why Brockton? Tell me how you ended up here.
CLJ: I was just looking for a way to get my business out of our apartment and mainly looking for a studio. My husband was growing weary stepping on beads and of me using our sofa and a TV tray as my work space in our very tiny apartment. At about the same time, I was growing tired of doing shows and carting my work from place to place. The space I have is actually the first and only place we looked at. It fit the budget and was a very manageable size with loads of storage. And a few months after I opened Beadle, an apartment in the building became available. So this neighbourhood is also my home.
■ : It seems like Beadle was one of the first shops of your kind in our neighbourhood, before Dundas West became the trendy neighbourhood it is today. How do you feel about that? Do you think yourself as a trendsetter?
CLJ: I chose this area mainly because it was what I could afford. Eight years ago it was a very different neighbourhood. I have been told by others that they initially looked in this area because I had my shop here. Several ended up opening businesses and buying buildings because they gave this area a second look and also found it to be affordable (or at least it used to be). I have had people call me a pioneer or a trendsetter but it usually makes me blush. I’m really not comfortable with those titles. But I am very proud of my neighbourhood and all that I have gone through. It has been super interesting to see the neighbourhood change. Fascinating to watch it happen while also being a part of it. At times it has been a rough ride but I love this hood!
■ : What kind of things do you sell in your shop?
CLJ: Beadle has a focus on finely crafted goods that are made in Canada.
■ : You seem to sell quite an eclectic mix of things. Is there something that ties all of the items in your shop together or is it that you just have a lot of different interests?
CLJ: Beadle does offer a wide array of unique gifts. We like to think we have something for everyone from babies to that hard-to-buy-for person who has everything. The local/Canadian/handmade theme — that is the common thread. Beadle has over 40 different lines of products from Canadian makers, with a spotlight on things from the GTA . Many are created in small home-based businesses.
■ : Are you a craftsperson yourself? If so, tell me what you make…
CLJ: I create our signature lines. Beadle jewellery and Beadle aromatherapy products.
■ : Over the past 8 years we’ve had some major construction along Dundas, including streetcar tracks, watermains and sidewalks. We’ve also had the TTC shut down for long stretches of time and now it is happening again this month of November. How does this affect your business?
CLJ: Construction has made it very difficult to keep things running and often extremely stressful. Most of the first five years there was major construction almost every spring/summer/fall. This had at times a huge negative impact on my business but also the other artists/creators that Beadle supports (over 40). Luckily I have earned a fiercely loyal customer base over the years. Without their ongoing support and their spreading the word, Beadle wouldn’t still be here.
■ : You mentioned a Shop your Neighbourhood event on November 29th. Can you let me know a little more about it?
CLJ: It’s a Yellow Pages initiative. They are in the works of trying to rebrand themselves away from the actual old school Yellow Pages paper listings and this is how they are choosing to start it. I think they have been doing this for over a year now.
It’s free for businesses and also free for customers. Both can win prizes. Customers can win $25 gift cards from Shop the Neighbourhood by posting pictures of their favourite neighbourhood places to eat, drink and shop. When they post them online using twitter, Facebook and instagram with the hashtag #shopthehood and tagging @shoptheneighbourhood, they are entered into the draw. Businesses are entered into the draw for $2000 towards businesses improvements when they sign up online to participate. For more details you can visit www.shoptheneighbourhood.ca/en
■ : Shopping along a city street is something very different than say shopping at Dufferin Mall, or even driving around the burbs shopping at strip malls, as was my experience growing up. What do you think people gain by walking down a city street to shop?
CLJ: I hope that people gain a sense of community and a sense of place and belonging; a human experience with personal connections that you just don’t often get when shopping in malls or dragging yourself from big box to big box shop. I’m not against big chain stores as they all have their uses. But when we choose to slow down, take a stroll and discover something new, it’s good for our mind, body, and soul. It’s more civilized and I believe better for our overall health and well-being.
■ : Tell me about some of the things you like to do or places you spend your time at in our neighbourhood.
I really enjoying walking around our hood. I have a dog so I tend to take him with me while I run all my errands before opening Beadle. Most often I stop in the mornings at either Full of Beans or Bivy (which is also my unofficial office for meetings) for a latte; Multiple Organics is my go-to grocer for lunch and dinner supplies. For special occasions or treats, I love going over to OMG baked goodness. Have you tried that focaccia bread or those cupcakes? Often my husband and I enjoy take away from This End Up and Pho Phung or pizza delivery from Albany Pizza. And I recently bought the most amazing vintage plaid cape from Life of Manek. Plus they always have the best window display! Aside from that my time is mainly spent in my shop. I love my job!
At night I truly love walking around St. Helen’s Church. I’m not an overly religious person but it’s magical to see the stained glass windows glowing in the dark. I don’t often linger for long but when I have time to sit, I do enjoy hanging out in one of the parkettes, usually on St. Clarens or Brock.
■ : Any suggestions for holiday gifts I can buy at Beadle?
I’ve stretched my wings a bit and found some new products from two different provinces this holiday season.
I predict the hottest item this season will be the Maple Syrup candles in the vintage style tin. It’s a new product I just got in last week and they are selling fast. They are hand poured by a company in Quebec. They have a (responsibly harvested) wooden wick that crackles like a fireplace and smells extra divine. At $18, it’s a great gift for guys or gals and perfect for a secret santa or a teacher’s gift.
We also have some amazing pure beeswax candles in the shape of a large pine cone. They are from a small company in British Columbia that has been in business for over 30 years, a husband and wife team with a small employee base. I suggest pairing the beeswax candles up with the beehive screen-printed tea towels and the 2015 How to Help the Bees calendar both by Christine from Art That Moves. Plus a portion of the sales for these products goes towards saving our bee population from colony collapse. So we all win!